fears and worries

Em is almost 6. She’s recently entered the fears and worries stage and by this I don’t mean being scared of the shadows in her room at night, or the muffled noises coming from our neighbours’ flats. These of course are very much there too and I regularly find myself awaken by the pitter patter of her bare feet as she makes her midnight run across the hall, spooked by a dream or a sound, only to fall asleep again in the safety of my bed and my arms. These fears are easily helped. They have been with us for ages and have slowly become part of a unique daily routine. They go away as fast as they appear.

But then there are wars and death and catastrophes beyond our power of prediction or influence. These seem to haunt her more and more often, resist the comfort of a simple hug and leave me at a loss each and every time..


“I really feel like curry” she says from the living room, which serves also as my bedroom and a study. The statement hits me as I’m standing by the cooker stirring an undefined brownish sort of sauce with what is the leftover chicken. I can’t believe my ears. Did my child just say that? The child, who hates curry? The child, who is an explosive mix of life threatening food allergies and stubborn fussiness?

“I do feel like curry. With rice, please.” she repeats. Not sure if she’s reading my mind or remembers my half deafness but I go over and kiss her forehead anyway. Give thanks.